(Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)
f this factsheet ( Nov.2006) had been penned
a couple of years ago in 2004, we would be talking about Corydoras
barbatus but in the callichthyid genus, Scleromystax
was resurrected by taxonomists during an ongoing study of Corydoras,
Aspidoras and Brochis in 2004. The main criteria
for resurrecting the genera was the cheek bristles on the males
of this species, you can just see them below the eye in the green
area of the snout in the image below.
barbatus = male
There are 4 other species in this genera
namely S. kronei, S. lacerdai, S. macropterus, S. prionotos,
and the most up to date species Scleromystax salmacis
Britto & Reis, 2005 which is similar to macropterus
but but lacks the black spot common at the base of the tail on
this species. The spots along the flanks of salmacis
are also said to be more irregular than those of macropterus.
This species has not been seen in the hobby as of this factsheet.
The males of S. barbatus and S. kronei are similar
but have different body patterns with the middle band in S.
kronei being solid wheras in S. barbatus it is broken
Back to our factsheet of the month and how best to keep this large,
in Corydoradinae terms anyway as this species can get upwards
to 4 inches in total length, Callichthyidae. First of all the
males can become quite territorial and as such if keeping more
than one male they would have to be housed in a 36ins (90cm) long
tank and if one male you can scale it down to a 24ins (60cm) aquarium.
barbatus = female
Scleromystax barbatus is
found in flowing water in the coastal areas of Southern Brazil
on either a sand or pebble substrate. The temperatures are low
in these areas, we are even talking about temperatures as low
as 60°f (16.5°c) here and as such you would be better
keeping this species in an unheated aquarium
This is of course a most beautiful catfish, especially the males
with their black and gold markings, and when the males are in
breeding condition there are not too many tropical fish of any
species that can hold a candle to the "Bearded Cory".
D 1/7-8; A 1/6-7; 24-27 bony scutes in the
upper lateral series, 22-23 in the lower. Body, greatly elongated.
Underside delicate yellowish to white. Blackish to lovely yellow-brown
markings on the flanks, leaving clear two large golden blotches
on the upper side of the caudal peduncle. Large, gleaming brassy
spots on the upper surface of the head and on the cheeks. Vertical
fins with rows of brownish spots.
Female: Body colour dark brown with irregular lighter
blotches, belly cream to white, head dark brown with irregular light
spots and blotches. Some light brown pigment forming light indistinct
baring in all fins.
As with most members of the Callichthyidae
they are peaceful and good additions to the larger
"cool water" aquarium set up with maybe other cool water
fish such as White Cloud Mountain Minnows and other fish that are
comfortable with a temperature around the 70°f (21.5°c)
Will lay up to 60 adhesive eggs high up on
the aquarium glass. Best to have the p.H. on the acid side for breeding
as it helps to break down the membrane and is easier for the fry
to exit their egg cases. Will need feeding after three days as the
fry use up their yolk sac, and can be fed on newly hatched brine
As with other members of the Corydoradinae
they relish tablet and good quality flake food with frozen bloodworm
a firm favourite. They are also keen on chopped earthworms and other
worm foods such as white worm used sparingly, and grindal worm.
|The males are more ornate
and have extended pectoral fins. The second and third rays
of the dorsal fin are often extended and of course the male
has the cheek bristles that the female doesn't.
Günther; Sterba, Freshwater Fishes of
the World 1, t.f.h. 1973.
Study Group; Information Sheet no.52.
Bottom: Danny Blundell @ Catfish Study Group